Saturday, January 30, 2016

Standing Tall

We spent 12 hours in between the gym and the car for tournaments today.

In that time period, I saw the good, the not so good, and the darn right ugly in the game of youth basketball.

I worry, are we as parents taking this too far? 

Are we doing our children a disservice by putting so much pressure on them to win at any and all costs?

I, myself, know that I am not innocent in this.

Almost always, I have a great time watching my kids compete and have fun on the court.

I am their number one fan and cheer them on, win or lose.

There are times, however, when I find I'm getting a little too into the game and need to sit back, take a deep breath and remind myself that this is supposed to be fun, they are only kids…

Does it really matter if they don't make that final play and sink the win?

When it comes down to it, I say nope, it really doesn't.

Winning or losing a 5th grade game of basketball isn't going to matter too much in the grand scheme of things….

Although I have to admit that it isn't always easy to remember this when your team is down by one bucket with mere seconds to go in  a nail biter of a game.

In all of the games I have watched (and granted it isn't all that many considering the young ages of my kids), I have never felt my skin crawl at an opposing teams fans.

In the boys' final game tonight, we saw some pretty ugly jeers directed at our kids.

I didn't hear much of it (thankfully) as I was on the other end of the court.

One of our moms was video taping on that side and had to come over to our side because she felt so uncomfortable at all the negative comments and down right awful things other parents were saying about our guys.

I wasn't happy to hear this but tried to shrug it off and just focus on our guys and cheer them on.

It was neck and neck and unfortunately, in the end, we didn't quite take the win and lost by a bucket.

It was tough.

Hopefully the boys can learn from this loss.

Immediately after the game, while the boys were gathering their things to leave the court, one of the players from the other team came up to my son, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, 'good game.'

To me, this was an amazing show of good sportsmanship.

Exactly the type of behavior I want my son to exhibit to the other team, no matter if they win or lose.

This is why I want our kids to play,

these are the lessons I hope linger with him long after he hangs up his jersey.

I don't, however, want him to remember the mean, hurtful comments shot directly at him,

not by another player but by a mom on the opposing team in the middle of the game.

There aren't too many things that get me going,

in fact, I consider myself a pretty easy- going person and I think most who know me would say the same.

But when I have to listen to my 11 year old son break down in the car on the way home because of nasty jeers directed at him by a parent...

 a parent...

my mama bear claws come out.

I am sure you don't realize this, dear mom, on the opposing team,

but instead of achieving whatever 'objective' you were going for when you yelled at my son tonight

you didn't hurt him…

oh no,

because you see,

you really helped him.

You helped him by seeing that there are grown ups out there who don't act older than him.

Thank you for helping me teach my son that no matter what he should always stand tall and not back down or let some 'parent' get to him.

Because of you, my 11 year old stands taller.

Thank you.

We did have a good day and I want to remember these moments (from both of my kids…so I apologize for the photo heavy post in advance.)

And these are the memories I want to cherish….

I think our kids will be just fine as long as we let them be that, KIDS.

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